The main question that everyone asks today is 'Is Mullaperiyar Dam safe?'
There are various threat factors that are to be considered to answer that question objectively:
1. The age of the dam and structural weaknesses, if any
2. Earthquakes in the region and their impact on the dam's safety
3. Increasing water level arising from the rains from SW and NE monsoons creating pressures on the dam.
The dam has survived for 116 years since its commissioning in 1895. Recent fears have arisen because of a series of earthquake tremors in the region and the cracks surfacing on the dam's structure.
India Today, November 30, 2011 reports that experts confirm Kerala's fears on Mullaperiyar Dam.
The report filed by Durga Nandini, states that the dam falls in Zone 3 seismic category where quakes of magnitude 6 on the Richter scale are possible. The dam has suffered tremors throughout its life. New cracks that have surfaced in the dam structure may have been caused partly by the tremors. So, is the dam breaking at the seams?
If the dam bursts, no one wins, neither Kerala nor Tamilnadu.